(Andrew and Wanda Bernhardt)
This trip was to paint the Mephibosheth Training Center school, located on the outskirts of Ankamu (Apam junction). The school is expected to open in October, which is very fast compared to the way most buildings in Ghana are completed (i.e. 10 years or more). It still needs the ceiling and floor put in, and electrical and plumbing completed. Windows are typical: open grates (rebar) with no glass. As the temperature is 75-90, this is fine. the children are currently being taught at the dorm on the same property.
Group photo at the dorm
Some scenes between the school in Ankamu and the guest house in Apam, about 10 miles away. The shortest route was washed out, and the next shortest route was so bad, it took about 20-30 minutes to go a mile near the guest house. So usually we travelled the long but scenic route through the country side.
Part of the scenic route to the school from the guesthouse.
We stayed at Lynnbah guesthouse in Apam (about halfway between Accra and Cape Coast). The guesthouse was nice… Jeff said it was a step or so below a Motel 6. In some ways, yes: cool showers, no air-conditioning, can’t drink the water, etc. But that is normal over there. It was still a mansion compared to the way most people lived right outside the gate. It was clean, quiet, restful. The host provided breakfast and supper.
Ghana has a large percentage of believers. There are churches everywhere, with services throughout the week. Christian education is mandatory by law. The people sing wonderfully… almost every night we could hear them singing near the guesthouse.
We went to several worship services: twice at the Victory Bible Church in Apam and twice at a branch of the village church in Ankamu (Apam junction near the school). The preaching was good. The people know the scriptures and know how to worship. Even taking the offering is done worshipfully. The VBC plans to start 500 new churches in the next year.
We also went to a church in a jungle village but because the road was washed out the service was canceled. We walked about a mile from where the the truck was parked to get to it. The people as always were very friendly. One ministered to me by washing the mud from my feet with water from a well. We can learn much from their willingness to serve each other.
The church in Ankamu
Some of the childen at the Apam VBC church.
Most of these photo’s are on the beach across the street from paster Jehu-Appia’s place in Cape Coast.
The Atlantic at Cape Coast
We took a tour of Elmina Castle at Cape Coast. The castle was one of the fortresses where slaves were kept until they were sent to America:
At the castle
After church on our last Sunday, we treated pastor Jehu to a Father’s Day meal at Han’s Botel’s restaurant. The restaurant is built over a crocodile pond:
Waiting for dinner
A market in Accra, located on the north side of the Tetteh Kwarchie Circle near the airport:
A market in Accra
Other miscellanous photos:
Portions of the road from Accra to Cape Coast were in poor shape. With vehicles having to avoid potholes, there were many accidents. In more populated areas, the roads were crowded with cars and people.
Buildings are constructed with large bricks made out of mud and concrete or wood. A large number of the brick buildings have been incomplete for years – sometimes the lower level is lived in while the upper level looks abandoned. The businesses in the Apam and other rural areas were little more than sheds. Many or most businesses had biblical names or slogans in English or Fanti, some of which I found a little humorous (like “Perfect Peace Metal Works”). Even some liquour stores have these names.
Most people where we stayed do not have their own cars, so taxis and “tro-tro”s (van buses) are common. (more info at http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/fun/trotro.php
With HIV/AIDS a serious problem in Africa, there are billboards and bumper sticks on condom useage everywhere.
Wanda noticed the black Jesus on the Catholic church.
Shoe repair business near the guesthouse.
Various pictures at the school and dorm.
Mary Jane and Wanda with people in village of Abodom.
Pictures from the churches in Ankamu and Apam. It was pretty neat preaching by candlelight!
Pictures at the castle at Cape Coast.
This was on the trip to the church in the jungle. The road was too back to drive so we walked. On the way back, one of the men spontaneously washed my feet.
The night before we left Ghana, Wanda had her hair done. It took 3 people most of the night. Cost: about $10.
Our only taste of American food, at a Pizza Inn in Accra.